Feeds

BT's Mayfair exchange downed by burglary

You may have Madonna to thank

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

Pictures BT's Mayfair exchange was burgled last night, leaving thousands of homes and businesses in central London without internet access this morning.

The raid cleaned out routers, networking cards and fibre at about 9pm on Wednesday, Reg sources said. According to data at Samknows, the exchange serves about 3,000 residential premises and 4,200 non-residential premises.

A BT spokesman confirmed police are investigating "an incident" at its Mayfair site, which is in Farm Street, near Park Lane. He said BT was unable to estimate yet when customers will see service restored but that more information would be released later today.

Customers including ISPs who resell BT Wholesale broadband lines have been told that new hardware is being sourced by engineers.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan police said a public statement is being prepared. We'll update this story as soon as we have it. ®

Update 11.34am

BT sent this statement:

We can confirm there was a break-in at our Mayfair Telephone Exchange last night (Wednesday), this is a now an ongoing police investigation and therefore we are unable to comment further.

BT apologises for any disruption caused to our customers. Our engineers are working around the clock to ensure that full service is up and running as soon as possible.

The Met is still working on its line.

Update 1.50pm

Police told El Reg they were called to the Farm Street exchange at about 1am this morning. Investigators from Central Westminster CID are working with BT to establish what was taken. No arrests have been made and police are not prepared to discuss the value of what was taken.

The Daily Mail offers the theory that the raiders used the scrum caused by a party thrown by Guy Ritchie and Madonna at the pub next door to the exchange as cover.

Pictures

Farm Street is a short walk from Vulture Central, so we went over with a camera. There was no obvious uniformed police presence, but the small parking space behind the exchange's large metal gates was packed with BT vans and some unmarked vehicles. The exchange is located in a dark mews off Farm Street, which itself is a very quiet residential street with negligible passing foot or vehicle traffic.

While we were there more engineers arrived. They said they were unable to discuss the thefts, but said they believed the exchange is not usually manned at night. The high barbed gates would normally be locked however, they said.

er

Welcome to BT Farm Street, come on in

er

The cavalry

er

The exchange building

er

A lookout's view of Farm Street

er

You tell em, BT

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T dangles gigabit broadband plans over 100 US cities
So soon after a mulled Google Fiber expansion, fancy that
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
Turnbull gave NBN Co NO RULES to plan blackspot upgrades
NBN Co faces huge future Telstra bills and reduces fibre footprint
NBN Co plans fibre-to-the-basement blitz to beat cherry-pickers
Heading off at the pass operation given same priority as blackspot fixing
NBN Co in 'broadband kit we tested worked' STUNNER
Announcement of VDSL trial is not proof of concept for fibre-to-the-node
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.